Story: Cycle racing

Motor pacers

Motor pacers

Pacers are used to encourage riders to increase their speed, often when they are trying to break a record. Before motorcycles, this was often done by pacers on tandems. Motor pacing began in New Zealand in 1900 when American Bill Martin (pictured here) toured the country with two motorcycles, one battery-powered and the other steam-powered.

Using this item

Canterbury Museum, Palliser Collection
Reference: 1991.345.11

Permission of Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Simon Kennett, 'Cycle racing - Early cycle racing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2021)

Story by Simon Kennett, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Oct 2015